15 Reasons to see a dermatologist

Some skin problems go away on their own. For other issues, your primary care doctor can help. So when should you make an appointment with a dermatologist? Here is a list of situations when an appointment with a dermatologist is the right move.


  1. Rashes. Not all rashes require a dermatologist. But if a rash covers more than 10% of your body, regardless of what it looks like, see a dermatologist right away, especially if the rash is accompanied by fever, joint or muscle pain. (Rashes accompanied by difficulty breathing could be anaphylaxis, a medical emergency— seek emergency treatment right away!) If a less extensive rash doesn’t resolve on its own, see a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.


  1. Changes in moles. Changing moles, moles that exhibit the ABCDEs of melanoma, new moles, or other growths that don’t go away within two to three weeks: these are all things to see a dermatologist about right away.


  1. Annual skin check. Basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, melanomas and other skin cancers are easily spotted by a skilled, experienced dermatologist, which is why it’s a good idea to schedule regular yearly skin checks as part of your preventive care. If you have been previously diagnosed with skin cancer, your doctor may want to see you more often.


  1. Seborrheic keratosis. These numerous waxy dark spots on skin tend to run in families and appear more often as you get older. While seborrheic keratosis is not dangerous or contagious, many people wish to have them treated or removed. A dermatologist can help.


  1. Nail changes. Dermatologists take care of more than just your skin. Nail issues to see a dermatologist about include: dark streaks in the nail bed that don’t grow out (could be a sign of melanoma), nail plate separating from the nail bed, ragged or brittle nails, bleeding or inflamed nails, or nails not growing properly.


  1. Hair loss. Hair loss and other medical issues associated with hair are the domain of a dermatologist. If you are experiencing unexplained hair loss, a dermatologist can diagnose why and help you find an appropriate treatment.


  1. Acne. This common, yet persistent skin condition can cause psychological pain and physical scarring in the long term. Rather than struggle with less effective over-the-counter medications, see a dermatologist who knows what works and can get faster and better results.


  1. Scarring. Procedures available in your dermatologist’s office can effectively cause acne scars and other types of scars to fade. These include lasers, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and micro-needling.


  1. Wart removal. The fastest and most reliable way to get rid of warts, hands down, is to get them treated by a dermatologist.


  1. Eczema. Don’t fight this battle alone. Itchy, irritated, eczema-affected skin can be challenging to live with on a day-to-day basis. You need an expert dermatologist who has the experience, skill, and tools to manage eczema and its symptoms.


  1. Signs of aging. Rather than navigating the multi-billion dollar skincare industry, let a dermatologist help you with physician-strength products that really work and are appropriate for your skin type. Cosmetic dermatology also offers options like BOTOX, dermal fillers, and more to help you look your best.


  1. Rosacea. A dermatologist can help you manage the visible signs of rosacea and keep it under control so it doesn’t worsen. Dermatologists also have the means to treat more permanent rosacea symptoms, such as an enlarged nose, using laser or electrosurgery.


  1. Vitiligo. If you are unhappy with light-colored patches of skin due to vitiligo, laser and phototherapy treatments can bring back pigmentation to the skin.


  1. Psoriasis. There are many treatments for psoriasis depending on the type and severity of your symptoms. One of these treatment options, biologic therapy, has been successful in treating people who haven’t experienced relief with other treatments.


  1. Melasma. Brown patches on your skin, especially your face, can be caused by hormones or hereditary factors and often become darker with sun exposure. If melasma is bothering you, a dermatologist can provide prescription medications or chemical peels to help balance your skin tone.